The ability of a recently isolated Scheffersomyces stipitis strain (UFMG-IMH 43.2) to produce ethanol from xylose was evaluated. For the assays, a hemicellulosic hydrolysate produced by dilute acid hydrolysis of sugarcane bagasse was used as the fermentation medium. Initially, the necessity of adding nutrients (MgSO4·7H2O, yeast extract and/or urea) to this medium was verified, and the yeast extract supplementation favoured ethanol production by the yeast. Then, in a second stage, assays under different initial xylose and cell concentrations, supplemented or not with yeast extract, were performed. All these three variables showed significant (p < 0.05) influence on ethanol production. The best results (ethanol yield and productivity of 0.19 g/g and 0.13 g/l/h, respectively) were obtained using the hydrolysate containing an initial xylose concentration of 30 g/l, supplemented with 5.0 g/l yeast extract and inoculated with an initial cell concentration of 2.0 g/l. S. stipitis UFMG-IMH 43.2 was demonstrated to be a yeast strain with potential for use in xylose conversion to ethanol. The establishment of the best fermentation conditions was also proved to be of great importance to increasing the product formation by this yeast strain. These findings open up new perspectives for the establishment of a feasible technology for ethanol production from hemicellulosic hydrolysates.